Speaking with my friend Michael today, He reminded me that the digital television switch over is going to occur on June 20, 2009 and many older televisions will stop receiving "over-the-air" television signals.
Anyone who is getting their television signals over cable, AT&T uVerse, Satellite and other methods will still be able to watch their shows. It only effects television delivered via an antenna.
I know from my travels that very few of my clients are in danger of losing their television service, but I have always had another concern about this switchover. Throughout the years, we have always been reminded to have a battery operated radio or television in case of weather, or in California, earthquake, emergency.
Unfortunately, all of the small televisions we have around our house will not receive any signal after June 20. I hadn't seen any prominent advertising for newer, portable TVs so I finally decided to go looking for them.
Amazon.com lists a number of portable digital TVs with ATSC tuners that will receive the new digital television signals. The smallest size seems to be 7", but there are 9" and 10" models available, too. Most operate on AC or DC current and some come with car adapters, too. Some offer rechargeable battery packs, although at least one said it could not be recharged through the car charger, so you would eventually have to use your car battery as a primary power source after a few hours.
Here are the features to look for when purchasing a new portable digital TV:
- ATSC digital tuner
- Battery powered (Rechargeable or traditional)
- Runs off 120V house power
- Runs off 12V car power with adapter
Can use either coax in for signal, or an included stand up antenna with your laptop or desktop computer to receive on air digital TV.
Note that in LA I have not be able to get a signal over the air, but it works fine when I connect the coax from cable to the device.